|San Juan really reminds me of San Francisco at times. The narrow, hilly streets, the tall, skinny buildings with lots of balconies.|
|These cobblestones date back to the 17th century and are blue from the iron slag used to make them!|
|Lots of colonial Spanish architecture throughout San Juan. Indoor courtyards being very common inside restaurants, hotels and apartment buildings.|
|These are pork rinds or chicharrónes. Not like the little wimpy things in the store, these are basically the entire pig skin deep fried whole.|
I have a ton of pictures from the food tour that we did, but I'm very tired and I want to type up the report of all the local dishes we had in detail. Just to say, Puerto Ricans have at least a half dozen different ways to prepare plantains, and we tried most of them today. Tostones are still my favorite, even though mofongo is delicious.
One thing I am surprised and frustrated by is my Spanish. I can't speak it anywhere even close to fluently, and I can't even understand most of what I read/hear. But I understand about every third word, which is usually enough to piece together the drift of what is being said. I totally understood enough to order in Spanish at the churrascaria we ate at for lunch, and I understood when the bartender asked me how long we were staying in PR. I'm happy, because it means my two years of Spanish in high school weren't completely wasted, but I'm frustrated because I want to be more fluent than I am. It doesn't help that Puerto Ricans drop their "S's" like crazy. "Buenos dias" becomes "buen dia" and "gracias" is "gracia." Local dialect is both way cool and super aggravating.